Tag Archives: Blaugust

My Gaming Style

This is day 20 of Blaugust.

For today’s post, I was inspired by Missy, who posted about a survey for a gaming style profile. The survey has been floating around other blogs, but this is the one that made me click through to the survey itself.

There were 5 pages of questions but it didn’t take too long. The results were close to what I expected, though in a few cases I don’t really understand how they were calculated. The scores are percentiles.

I am Action-Oriented, Analytical, Completionist, Independent and Deeply Immersed.

My gaming style

While most of these percentiles seem about right, a couple are unexpected. Let’s start with Action.

Action

That this is high doesn’t surprise me, though I’m a little surprised to see it as my highest score overall. I do like fast-paced, exciting games like action-adventures, platformers and the occasional FPS (though I also really like turn based games). I find this metric a little suspect since as far as I can remember from the questions, there was really only one that would have been scored against the Destruction category. I do like to blow shit up in games, but I find it a bit hard to believe that I like blowing things up more than 90% of other gamers that have taken the survey.

Mastery

Apparently I hate challenge but I like strategy and complexity. It’s true that difficulty is not something I look for in games. I play on normal mode. The only game that I can think of that has really made me want to try a higher difficulty is XCOM, so I guess challenge isn’t my thing. I find it a bit strange there’s such a big discrepancy between two subjects in the same category.

AchievementWell, if I thought the last category had a big discrepancy… This is the result that’s the most surprising to me. I love achievements and I’m a huge completionist, but I’m not so into character power. I don’t care too much about gear in games (now that I don’t play WoW), but I think I’m more achievement-driven than 36% of gamers.

Social

I’m not a social animal, no surprise here. With the exception of HotS right now, I will always opt for single player games. I’ve sworn off MMOs forever and I will rarely even check out the online modes of games I get for the campaign. I do like beating people when I do play against them though.

Immersion

I thought this one would be my highest and it’s close. I love a good story and being able to immerse myself in a new world. I love exploring and ultimately see video games as the ultimate escapism.

Creativity

About average on creativity, that seems about right. I like discovery and though I like customizing my character I’m not super into things like customizing/decorating locations.

This survey was a fun little distraction. If you want to take it yourself, you can find it here: https://apps.quanticfoundry.com/lab/10 

Podcast?

This is day 18 of Blaugust.

This post is based on a writing prompt from Void.

If you were to create content for a different medium what would you choose? Videos, Streaming, Podcast, Something Else? What about that medium appeals to you as a content creator?

Apple_Podcast_logo

I really want to do a podcast. I’ve guested on a number of podcasts over the past few years and always really enjoyed it. A had a very, very brief stint as a regular co-host (if you can call 2 episodes regular) which I really enjoyed as well. I like writing here and I’ve really been getting into videos lately, but they’re both very solitary mediums. There are comments which I love getting and responding to, but it’s still not really a conversation – the content is created solely by me. I really crave the opportunity to sit down and talk and collaborate with people about video games on a regular basis. I think a podcast would be the best way to do that.

What stopping me? Hmm. Indecision. Fear of commitment. I don’t know what kind of podcast I want to have. Do I want to do the usual – what’s the news? What are you playing? One of my favourite podcasts I’ve been on was my first appearance on Justice Points where we did a deep dive on the latest Tomb Raider game. A podcast where I get to spend an hour or so really dissecting a single game per episode really appeals to me.

Who do I want to do the podcast with? Ask one person to co-host? Two co-hosts? A rotating selection of co-hosts? How would we split responsibilities and control of the podcast? I don’t really want to be in another situation where my (I use that term very loosely) podcast ceases to be and I don’t have a say. So I want control, but I also want people to bounce ideas off and collaborate with.

While I sit here wallowing in indecision, here are some great podcasts I listen to regularly and recommend:

Cat Context

Justice Points

Match 3

Spawn on Me

The Heroine’s Journey

The Smartest Man in the World

Video Game Crushes

This is day 13 of Blaugust.

Today I saw two posts, from And Then She Games and Mrluvvaluvva about video game crushes. I like this topic and game crushes was one of my favourite questions from the gamer questionnaire I made a while back, though some people scoffed at it. PS, if you’re looking for a Blaugust topic and haven’t done this yet…

So, here are some of my crushes from video games.

Cullen

Dragon Age: Inquisition

Cullen - Dragon Age Inquisition

/swoon

Cullen has supplanted Alistair as my main Dragon Age man. Sorry Alistair. He’s sweet, handsome, has a nice solid desk, and wears a feathered ruff that David Bowie would envy.

Katrina

Quest for Glory 4

Katrina - Quest for Glory 4

When I run into her outside of The Dark One’s cave at the beginning of Quest for Glory 4, I know this woman is clearly bad news. But I don’t care. She’s dark, mysterious, powerful, and always leaves you wanting more (at least until she reveals her true nature and tries to plunge the world into darkness). Also, she’s voiced by Jennifer Hale.

Sephiroth

Final Fantasy 7

Sephiroth

Yeah, I know. I’m the worst. Shut up.

Jeanette Voerman

Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines

Jeanette Voerman - Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines

As a fellow Malkavian, Jeanette was constantly hitting on me when I visited her at her club, the Asylum. Aaand, it worked. Her mad musings are kind of poetic, and we get along just like fire hoses.

Gabriel Knight

Gabriel Knight

He’s kind of a jackass, but he has really nice hair and is full of smart ass comments. He also happens to be a Schattenjäger, hunter of shadows. Plus in the second game, The Beast Within, there’s this kinda hot FMV scene with him and Baron von Glower.

 The Boss

Saints Row series

Saints Row 4

Since you make your own character in Saints Row, The Boss is basically just me, as a gang leader, with purple hair and Laura Bailey’s voice. So putting her on my crush list is kinda masturbatory and narcissistic, but fuck it, I love her.

Who are your video game crushes?

Five Tips for Heroes of the Storm

I’ve been playing a lot of Heroes of the Storm lately. A lot. Too much, even. It seems people are still getting into the game so I thought I’d write some tips, things I wish I had known, or paid more attention to, when I started.

Heroes of the Storm

1. Don’t Die

This would should be fairly obvious, but it can be difficult to teach yourself to play safely. It’s very tempting to try to kill as much as you can with little regard for your own health, but in general it’s best to play cautiously. Deaths near the end of the game mean being useless to your team as you wait on long rez timers. But early deaths suck too. Even though you may only have to wait 10 seconds to rez, it’ll take you another 10 seconds to get back to your lane and that’s 20 seconds of zero XP contribution, plus the XP the enemy team got from killing you. A couple early deaths can really set your team back in terms of levels and make the rest of the match an uphill battle. Some deaths are not avoidable, but these kinds in particular can be avoided:

  • Don’t get killed by enemy structures. These are the worst deaths and people will probably laugh at you. Towers and keeps will shoot at whatever is closest to them – this shouldn’t be you. Wait for a group of creeps to get close enough before you attack a structure so they are taking damage rather than you, and don’t chase an enemy hero into the danger zone.
  • Don’t get killed because you’re deep in enemy territory, alone. In general the closer you are to your own towers, creeps, and the rest of your team, the safer you are. Don’t go running off by yourself especially if you can’t see the enemy heroes on the mini-map.

When in doubt, run away. Run back to your towers so you have that extra firepower alongside you, maybe hit the moonwell.

2. Objectives Win Games

This game is not just a fighting arena. Team fights will become important, but objectives are how you win (or lose) the game. This means your whole team should be going for objectives. Don’t be that jerk in the bottom lane fighting creeps while your team is engaging in a team fight 4 on 5 to get the tribute that just spawned. Go for the big capture objectives as a team. For the collection objectives be sure to hand in fairly frequently and join your teammates if they’re encountering opposition at the hand-in point.

You get a timer counting down to when objectives will spawn, so make sure you’re full on health and mana, then make your way over.

3. Ping!

I was pretty bad about pinging early on since I was so focused on other things, but it can be very helpful. You can press G and click (the map or the ground) for a general ping, but that’s not overly helpful. Instead press G then hold down the left mouse button and drag over to one of the options. Let your teammates know you’re on your way, or need help. If you ping directly on an enemy hero, merc camp, or fort, it lets your team know you want to attack that.

4. Disable chat if you need to

People in online games can be dicks. HotS is no exception. If someone on your team is subjecting you to toxic nonsense you don’t want to see, toggle allied chat off. Once in a blue moon, a critical teammate will have some actual useful information for you, but if they can’t communicate it to you without resorting to ableist and homophobic slurs, then fuck’em. Turn chat off and communicate with pings (and don’t forget to report).

5. Don’t give up

Just because your team is behind, doesn’t mean you’ve lost. One thing I like about this game is that comebacks are always possible. All it takes is a bit more XP, maybe some clever merc camp caps, or catching an enemy by themselves and you can be right back in it.

This is my 10th post for Blaugust.

Sunset (Review)

Sunset is the latest, and probably last, game from Tale of Tales. They make rather unconventional, open ended games that attempt to provide meaningful narrative experiences. I like what they’re trying to do, though the execution is sometimes lacking. I really enjoyed The Path, while their (even) more abstract The Graveyard and Vanitas didn’t really connect with me.

With Sunset, Tale of Tales attempted to make a “game for gamers.” Whatever that means. They seem to think it means adding field of view sliders and multiple control modes? It’s kind of puzzling. I suppose Sunset has slightly more conventional gameplay than their other games, but to what end?

In Sunset you play Angela Burns, an American living in a fictional Latin American country under an oppressive regime. Angela is the housekeeper for Gabriel,  a powerful man in the government. Though the backdrop of civil unrest and revolution is potentially interesting, the game itself often isn’t.

Sunset game elevator

Each day you take an elevator up to a posh penthouse suite. While Angela narrates some thoughts you are presented with a list of tasks to do, though you can do more (or less) if you’d like. The main mechanic of the game is that you can perform tasks warmly or coldly. How you perform these actions affects your relationship with your absent employer. I didn’t even notice there were options on how to perform tasks until a few days in. Then all of a sudden, after choosing to paint a wall red instead of blue, leaving some lights on, and moving some slippers, Angela and Gabriel were on the cusp of a romantic relationship.

The idea of romancing your boss, especially given the nature of the working relationship, wasn’t one I was entirely comfortable with. The fact that Gabriel wasn’t even present in the game, and Angela never met him, made it even more strange. However, once I was started, I continued down the romantic path to see where it went. After a while, Angela and Gabriel start communicating via notes left around the apartment, though the content of these notes don’t seem to affect Angela’s narration events, at least in the beginning.

Sunset started out on rocky terrain by making the gameplay about housekeeping. That’s not really something I want to do in my own apartment, never mind choosing to pretend to do it in a video game. The story isn’t strong enough to make up for this. It takes a long time for anything interesting to happen. Days and days went by before the gameplay started integrating into the story of civil war. About an hour in, I was quite bored. Eventually some interesting tidbits of information started appearing, but they were spread too thinly throughout the game.

Sunset isn’t completely without charms. The voice acting is good, the music is great, and I enjoyed the increasing focus on art. But it’s just not enough. The good things in this game are few and far between. Had the game been 2 hours instead of 4 I think some of the issues could have been solved and the pacing would have been better but, as it is, Sunset just wasn’t an engaging experience.

Rating: Not recommended. Making a “game for gamers” seems to have backfired on Tale of Tales. As I read about how they tried to make this game appeal to the masses and see the options screen full of resolution options and horizontal smoothing sliders, I wonder – was Sunset made to mock “gamers” or was this really an attempt to go mainstream? Either way, I don’t recommend going out of your way to catch this Sunset.

This is my 9th post for Blaugust.

Hey, I have a food blog

I’m still playing catch up from my missed post yesterday. I didn’t really have any ideas for another post here today, so I cheated a bit (is it cheating?) and posted something on my neglected food blog instead!

If you like nice pictures of great food, then go on over to Damn Good Food and take a gander.

DaiLo beed carpaccio

This is my 8th post for Blaugust.

The Game I’m Most Excited For

This is my 7th post for Blaugust.

Oh dear, I’m only at the end of week 1 and I’m falling behind. I meant to post something yesterday, really I did. But I got caught up playing Witcher 3 for a few hours – I found Ciri, I must be getting close to the end, yes? Then I had some late night testing to do for work which went until well after 2am. So when I woke up this morning (can you call noon the morning?) I had no post for Friday.

Being in a bit of a rush, I’m going to go with one of the writing prompts. Void asks: What is your most anticipated game that will release in the next year, and why?

Rise of the Tomb Raider

I’m going to have to go with Rise of the Tomb Raider. 2013’s Tomb Raider was one of the most fun games I’ve played. It wasn’t a game I liked for its deep and meaningful story but the gameplay, combined with some excellent visuals and set pieces, was so exhilarating. There was a particular sequence where Lara had to climb up this immensely tall tower and I felt like I myself was on top of the world. Super smooth controls made everything feel very natural and intuitive, and I just had a great time running around raiding tombs and shooting my bow. As long as Rise of the Tomb Raider offers more great gameplay, I’ll be happy.

I’m also looking forward to Fallout 4, which comes out on the same day, but I think I’ll be tackling RotTR first. I’m more excited for it and the fact that it’ll likely take me a fraction of the time that Fallout will is also a big draw.